You sort of need a backup plan

I know someone who is now 65. He lost his job when he was 50, and couldn’t get another job. The reason was a complicated one: a combination of being male, highly skilled and too expensive to hire.  Though not the norm, we find it often that people cannot find a job. 

We know that we need an emergency fund in place.

And insurance. Retrenchment cover. Dread and disease cover. 

But things still happen.

What is lacking? How about more income streams? When specialising in something, it might become a would obsession, which is awesome. Some people are like this with the field that they specialise in. Property and stocks (ETFs) are just some examples. Though specialisation is not a bad thing, it is worth looking at the trade-off between the risk of not finding a new job and having a side hustle or other project on the side to help with income in case something happens. 

It is also worth looking at passive investment vehicles that can assist you in getting income in case something might happen. For the purpose of this article, I will be looking at passive income sources for investing as well as business/side hustle income.

Income sources

Real Estate

I love real estate, as this is what I know. Property is a good asset class to diversify into – you can buy a physical property and rent it out  – you could even allow your tenant to pay off your bond, meaning you score even bigger on this!

The idea is that the asset will increase in value, and you will receive rent for your asset (which I like to refer to as dividends on my property).

Note that not all property, as in all investments are good investments. I suggest you do a lot of research to make sure your investment is solid.

Stock market related income sources

The stock market has in recent years become exceptionally easy and relatively cheap to invest in. 

There’s many different investment products which people write books about, but here I will only discuss ETFs which I think is worth looking in to – note that I am biased!


ETFs is an interesting product – basically how this works is there’s a set of rules in a computer on what this fund tracks – e.g. market cap, company size, ratios and other fancy words no normal person understands. As soon as a company doesn’t match the criteria, they get sold out of the ‘basket’ and other stocks are purchased.

ETFs are diversified and can pay dividends! 

For more info, check my article here!

Business related income sources

Business opportunities

I had a friend come to me recently and ask if I wanted to invest in a company he is starting. I also have a family member that started a company that is doing exceptionally well, who I offered to invest in. This could be financial or investment by other means such as skill, time or physical equipment. In the long run this could pay off an awesome dividend every month!

This strategy cuts out the middleman and loads of fees but is slightly riskier. Make sure you have all the needed paperwork in place though to cover yourself!

Side Hustles

As in one of my previous posts (find it here) on side hustles – I fully believe that they can grow to be very mature and income-generating. Even some small ideas can grow to become very big. Think how something like you making your own preserved jam and chutney can escalate into a big company!

It might take some extra effort, but perseverance could be well worth it.

Unconventional income sources

There are many unconventional types of income sources that could give you money. I don’t want to go too deeply into the other options, as many have a shelf lifespan (think bitcoin) – but here are a few you are able to look into if you like

  • Online courses, ebooks, web design, blogging etc etc etc
    • I believe this market is quite saturated, and everyone is doing it – but it does not mean this is not profitable! Just make sure it’s an investment and not a liability or a waste of time.
  • Peer lending
    • Though not huge in South Africa yet, this is a novel approach to get good interest on your money – and often more than the banks would offer. 
  • Buy a cow
    • If you check a few places, you are able to buy a cow, let the farmer manage all the things for you and pocket the money – the returns seem to be fairly low (10-14 %), but it might be a good place to diversify. Check the link here


Above are the main investment vehicles people choose from. I have deliberately not included things like retirement annuities and unit trusts, as I personally cannot justify the fees involved. 

I also think there are many fads in the industry – think bitcoin and the notorious ‘Start a blog’ article on the net that will make you want to kill yourself. 

I do think that the only way to become financially free would be to buy more assets than liabilities. As someone on Twitter said recently: “Repeat for a few years and you have financial independence”

Happy investing!